I thought I'd post a series about addiction, the forms it has taken in my life throughout the various stages, and open up the floor to comments from people with their own stories to share regarding addiction
Addiction. It's always been a really large part of my life. I have a very addictive, self-destructive side of me, you see. My personality, well, personality is always a complex thing made of so many different layers... and mine has some really excellent parts that I love, other parts I'm not so sure about, and yet others that can't possibly be good. Addiction, this falls somewhere between the last two categories.
The first thing I remember taking to an addiction level was reading. I started to fall in love with reading when I was about 11 years old. Prior to this, English being my second language, and me being in an English speaking country with a single mother and history of child abuse, I had difficulty and little interest in reading. I remember when I was about three or four years old, and struggling to learn to read arabic. My dad, he wasn't exactly the most patient teacher, so naturally the breakthrough came to me when I was on my own, and not supervised. Suddenly, all the letters started to make sense, the words formed instantly, everything was just suddenly readable. It was the most incredible sensation, understanding.
Anyway, in New Zealand, in grade 5, my reading level was two years below where it should be at my age. At around this time, however, I was introduced to the Harry Potter series (at that time only the first 2 or 3 books had been released), and I instantly fell in love with it. I remember reading those early days and escaping away from my little room, my life, into this new place where anything was possible. I always liked to read slow, to really digest what was happening and imagine every little detail in my mind. I would lie in bed for hours and hours reading and sweating into my sheets, moving only when my bladder felt like it was going to seriously burst to go pee. After I finished with Harry (or what was available of him at the time), I started voraciously looking for other great fantasy writers. I read through Goodkind, Eddings, Jordan, most of the Drizzt series, and so many others, and just couldn't get enough.
A thing is considered an addiction when it starts to negatively interfere with your life, your relationships, your work, etc. Well, reading did all of these things to me. Sure, it greatly expanded my mind, and of all my addictions has probably had the most positive impact on my life, but the fact remains that I neglected my family, and my duties (even as a child, everyone has duty). I don't regret the time I spent reading, but should I have the opportunity to live through that part of my life again, I would definitely try to find more balance.